Atmospheric setting for chamber choir concert

Tower Chamber Choir, St-Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich, Saturday, November 13.

Performing Rachmaninov’s Vespers, the Tower Chamber Choir executed the most beautiful singing I’ve heard in Ipswich for a long time.

Nine o’clock on a Saturday evening is an interesting time for a concert and many others thought so too, despite other attractive concerts nearby.

The fine medieval church was a great setting for a work of such intense profundity, made atmospheric by candle light, incense perhaps, and the placing of the choir behind.

Rachmaninov was not conventionally religious but turned to the Orthodox tradition for this work written in 1915 amidst war in Europe and revolution in Russia. It is a reflection of grief and loss.

The choir sang in Slavonic, increasing the other-worldly feel, meeting the technical complexities to create a rich sound.

The unusually deep contralto part was wonderfully sung by Maggie Menzies and tenor Daniel Turner achieved a strong, resonant tone.

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Director Michael Nicholas achieved a polished, magnificent performance which had the audience on its feet at the end.


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